If you believe that a strong Brand Identity is the most valuable asset an organization or company can have, then you know that controlling all brand touch points – any point at which your brand interacts with its various audiences – is key to long-term success.
With over 700 million daily users on Facebook1 and 650 million registered users on Twitter2, social media has become a major brand touch point in today’s business world. Even if you’re not using social media to directly share your news and connect with your audiences your employees could be, and in the process sharing information about your brand.
While some companies believe that a social media policy is unnecessary – after all it’s just one more way to communicate and you don’t have a written policy for simply conversing – keep in mind that while a confrontation between a customer and sales rep in the “real” word might only be heard by a few and easily remediated, in the social media world it can be heard by thousands …and shared, and shared, and shared.
With this in mind it becomes clear that you need a social media policy to ensure your brand’s reputation is not inadvertently damaged online.
Five Key things to include in a Social Media Policy:
- Be honest about who you are: Employees should not represent themselves as anyone other than who they are and the company they work for if the conversation includes anything relating to business.
- Be clear about whose views are being expressed: Make it clear that the views expressed are the employee’s and the employee’s alone.
- Use good judgment in sharing company information: Make sure what goes out in public is approved for the public to hear.
- Be respectful: Avoid posting any comments that could be misconstrued as demeaning to either other employees or the company itself.
- Remember that the Internet is an unlimited public space: Whatever is said becomes permanent, can and will be seen by many eyes, and that the information shared can’t be easily erased.
The potential business benefits of an active social media presence are worth the risks, especially when you minimize those risks by planning ahead. Putting a social media policy in place gives companies a level of protection in case of abuse; sets guidelines for acceptable posts and comments; and explains the consequences if not followed.
Do you need help with your social media plan? Trent Design’s staff are experts at social media strategies and content management marketing. Give us a call or shoot us an email. We’re always happy to help!